Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2

S03 - 10 Change

June 09, 2022 Real Exam English Season 3 Episode 10
Real Exam English - B2, C1, C2
S03 - 10 Change
Show Notes Transcript

Native English speakers answer questions about change from previous B2, C1, C2 and IELTS  exam papers.

In this episode, we hear some really interesting answers about what changes are happening around the world, from New York to London to Spain to Australia. We hear some lovely phrasal verbs, we look at a great way to structure monologues and of course we have plenty of top vocabulary too. 

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Hello and welcome to Real exam English, my name is Trevor, today´s episode is about change. Things change, people change, places change, languages change, change is everywhere right. In this episode, we hear some really interesting answers about what changes are happening around the world, from New York to London to Spain to Australia. We hear some lovely phrasal verbs, we look at a great way to structure monologues and of course we have plenty of top vocabulary too. 

You can find the transcript for this episode on the Real exam English website,, it can be a really useful tool to make sure you don´t miss any of the super language you hear.

Ok then, lets go with the questions

is change inevitable or can things just stay the same as they are?

This is definitely a.Question with two major parts to it. There's like the personal part and there's the part of science or the world, or even, I suppose, the universe As a whole. I think people on a personal level generally can stay essentially the same. There will be some amount of change, but there are certainly people who live a very straightforward track in life and they are happy in doing so.And I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that. I think that's fine so long as it's not harming everyone.Anyone, et cetera, et cetera. However, society the world as a whole certainly changes. In fact, it's very normal for it to change, and I think that happiness or humanity's ability to look forward in the future and make things better needs to roll with and be comfortable with these changes.I think actually change is something we shouldn't fight and change is something that we should flow with.

some people don't like it when things change. Why do you think that is?

I guess that people don't like it when things change because there are probably a bunch of reasons, but I think the main reason off the top of my head is that they are happy and enjoying the life that they have. I think the younger sort of generation like millennials and below are really starting to understand that life is not as set in concrete as we might have thought in the past. We can talk about the coronavirus pandemic really changes things really has thrown things in pieces. Also, even on a personal basis, so many of my friends are families of divorce or where a parent has died or something along those lines.

Decisions that we make are not impenetrable to change. Divorces occur. People have different feelings about each other. Relationships fall apart. People draw apart society as a whole changes. Pandemics occur. People do not like the change because it's.Removing them from something from a happy time, something they consider that they want or that they are happy with.


Two class answers there and I love the way he structures both of them, he gives a personal view and then a more global view. In fact, this is a great strategy to use when you have to give a long answer to any tricky English question or in a monologue too, like in the Cambridge C2 exam, or in the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Spain and in many English exams really. So, you can give a personal view, a local one and then a global one.  For instance, if you are talking about vaccines, you could say personally I´m all in favour of them, in my town most people got vaccinated and there were very few hospitalisations, nevertheless around the world there are many people who still don´t have access to vaccines, which is totally unfair. That’s a handy little strategy for you.

Also in the second answer we heard a couple of phrasal verbs, relationships fall apart and people draw apart. So if something falls apart then it breaks, essentially, and if people draw apart then they gradually become more distant, you can also say drift apart, which has a similar meaning. Like, after college my friends and I drifted apart, we hardly see each other anymore.

One last expression to pick up on here is along those lines. So he said his friends are from families of divorce or where a parent has died or something along those lines. This expression means similar in type. Another example would be, we are going to travel around Ireland this summer, something along the lines of the trip Maria did last year. According to the Cambridge dictionary this is a C2 level expression, which is nice to know. That´s a cool feature of the Cambridge dictionary, by the way, they usually list the level of the expression, or phrasal verb, or whatever. It can be beneficial to know which ones are higher level, and therefore more impressive to use. 


Is the pace of change quicker today than in the past?

Let's see. Well, as a 28 year old I could say.Yes, it seems like things are changing quickly in the US. When I think about the state of affairs, UM.You know, in New York City I I have a father in New York City. I family in New York City. It's gotten so .Smelly so smelly so quickly.Uh, I was in New York just a couple days ago and it smells so bad and you know it wasn't like that and the last time I was in New York like even like couple months ago it smelled less. There's a lot more homeless people. You know, that's happened very quickly.So you know my frame of reference is, you know what I see around me and you know, I see things happening quickly.You know we had these vaccine  sites that popped up very quickly and we went from being, you know, basically on lock downs and now being a.You know everything being opened wide up, so I think things are changing pretty quickly. You know, in good directions and in bad directions.

Interesting answer there from smelly New York. So he starts off with a little time-buyer – let’s see, well. This gives him a couple of seconds to think.  Then he says when I think about the state of affairs in New York City, which means the present situation in New York. Another example would be, Eastern Ukraine is in a bad state of affairs at the moment. 

He had another nice expression which was my frame of reference is what I see around me. Your frame of reference is the things around you that influence your opinions or decisions. For example, Republicans and Democrats have completely different frames of reference when you consider they watch news channels which present differing versions of events. 


This is just a reminder that if you are looking for classes then get in touch and I will be happy to help you, whether you are preparing for an exam or just want to get more fluent with your spoken English, in individual classes or group classes, whatever works best for you. You can get send an email to realexamenglish at or contact me through the real exam English website, or Instagram or Facebook, lots of options for you, what are you waiting for!


How do you think the place you live will change over the next few years?

I look at it in two ways. One is that we've been following very closely for the last, say, five years.The economic development of my small town. I mean, I live within the province of Seville, but I live outside the town.And many people have worked, many neighborhood organization. Grassroots organizations have worked really, really, really hard.For it not to get exploited into a little bit of a shopping center here, or instead of five.Five homes in that plot, 17 in floor. You know they really looked at like shutting all of that down and and so I'm hoping in the next.Five years, did you say about 5-5 years was the question. I'm hoping that that doesn't change and we're all very.Uh, observant and and and looking at those things and trying to make sure that we we support a local business so so that they can stay afloat and all of those kind of things.

To stay afloat, nice, that means that they have enough money to stay open. Like, many small shops are struggling to stay afloat with the increased competition from multinational chains. We also heard this lovely word grassroots, she mentioned there are grassroots organisations where she lives. This means organisations run by ordinary people, rather than the leaders in the community. Another good example would be The political party has lost touch with its grassroots, something needs to change!

One other thing to pick up on here and that is the place where she lives, Seville, which is in Spain. I think I´m right in saying this is the only city in Spain which has an English translation, from the Spanish Sevilla. But it´s a worthwhile point to bring up, when speaking in English be careful with the pronunciation of placenames that are the same in your own mother tongue. If you are from Madrid, for example, and you tell an English speaker you are from Madrid, then they may struggle to understand you, so just watch out for that.


How do you think the place you live will change over the next few years?

I think probably that it will change in the next few years in terms of.I mean my neighborhood, I think will probably won't really change that much. I think if anything we might have a different. We might have different ethnic groups living in my area.Yeah, but other than that, I think it'll probably stay the same. Pretty much. We might have a few generic shops with a few more generic shops than we do.Uhm, how the city I live in will change well. I mean these cities always change, you know you things come and go.Shops come and go. People come and go. Governments come and go. Styles come and go. Buildings come and go, so you know. I mean, you know I I hadn't been to central London for a while, and when I went I was like well where are all these shops that I knew were all the restaurants I know? it's completely different 

Agh London, I miss it so much, such a fantastic city. The speaker used this very typical phrase to explain what she was thinking when she last visited the city centre, I was like where are all the shops I know. So by using “I was like” you are telling the listener, this is what I was thinking at that moment. Other examples would be when I first saw the grand canyon, I was like this is amazing, or when I first started doing use of English exercises I was like, I´m never gonna pass this exam, but then with Trevor’s help I managed it, hurrah!

what changes would you like or not like to see in this country? 

I would like to see this country, embrace its socialist past, become a little bit more charitable towards people and we'd like to see the NHS properly funded and I would like to see us stop trying to be America because America is clearly broken. Do that. Let's start treating poor people properly. Let's start, you know. Focusing on practical apprenticeship-based qualifications for people that don't have academic skills, that kind of stuff like some grassroots grassroots shit. Make the world a better place.

Some people don't like it when things change. Why do you think that is?

 because you get comfortable? I do this myself like I'm.I I can see how my day is going to go. I can see how my life is going and then something changed in your life. But this is different. I I'm not sure if I like this.And it it makes you frustrated and angry.So and.Embracing change is difficult for some people.

It sure is, I like that collocation to embrace change, which means to accept something in a positive way, he also said his country should embrace its socialist past. We heard that word grassroots again, although this time it was to do some grassroots shit. Obviously not appropriate vocabulary to use in an exam, in the pub with your mates, fine. 

And speaking of the pub, I think it´s time for me to go, as this is the last episode in season 3 of the podcast. I will be releasing a series of shorter episodes in the near future so keep an eye out for those. For everyone doing exams, best of luck with them and to you and to all the listeners thanks very much for listening.

Ok then, take care and all the best, Trevor